Infor fleshes out its Inforce Salesforce.com integration

Now it includes support for multiple ERP systems and companies from a single Inforce instance

Infor has unveiled a new version of Inforce, a product that connects Salesforce.com's popular cloud-based CRM (customer relationship management) software with its own.

Inforce,first announced in 2011, is built on top of Salesforce.com's Force.com development platform and exchanges data between Salesforce.com and Infor ERP software.

New features include support for tying multiple systems and companies to a single Inforce instance, according to the announcement Wednesday.

Inforce also expands support for Business Object Documents, XML-based messages that Infor's ION integration framework uses to move information between applications, rather than use "clumsy point-to-point database integrations," according to a data sheet.

BODs are associated with to specific topics and processes, such as "employee work-time" or "invoice." Previously, Inforce offered more than a dozen BODs as standard but now supports greater than 100, according to the announcement.

Finally, the updated Inforce provides a new object that can pull in and show price quotes from within an Infor ERP system. The quotes can also be linked with contacts, accounts and opportunities in the CRM system, according to Infor.

Infor doesn't disclose the exact number of customers according to product, but Inforce's tally so far is in the dozens, according to a spokesman.

The vendor clearly hopes to take advantage of Salesforce.com's large user base, and has in fact been reselling Salesforce.com as part of the Inforce strategy.

But it remains "deeply committed" to its own Epiphany CRM software, product manager Jackie Palmer said in a statement: "We recently announced major new releases around digital marketing and expanded cloud functionality, have acquired Orbis to grow the product suite, and added both new customers like Great Wolf Resorts and expanded our relationships with existing customers like Ticketmaster and Navy Federal Credit Union."

Epiphany also offers on-premises deployments, something Salesforce.com does not.

Infor customers that desire more sophisticated marketing capabilities are tending to go with Epiphany, said analyst Ray Wang, CEO of Constellation Research.

He cited Interaction Advisor, a component of Epiphany, as a "crown jewel" in Infor's CRM suite. It uses real-time analytics and customer data to help companies up and cross-sell products to consumers.

Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Chris' email address is Chris_Kanaracus@idg.com

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Chris Kanaracus

IDG News Service
Topics: applications, Customer Relationship Management, enterprise resource planning, Salesforce.com, Infor, software
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